Priyanka Chopra reveals dad Ashok Chopra’s “ground rule” that saved her from terrible experiences in Bollywood


Priyanka Chopra’s recently released memoir ‘Unfinished’ has been winning the actress a lot of praise from readers and social media users for her honest take and for baring it all in the tell-all book ‘Unfinished’ about her personal and professional life. 

As we read through the memoir, we came across a chunk where Priyanka Chopra talks about how the Hindi film industry was “mostly patriarchal” with “male producers usually calling the shots”, and “things centered on the male actor”. 

She mentioned how she would arrive on the sets of her films as scheduled only to find the male actor keeping the entire cast and crew waiting for the entire day. 

She wrote, “I was on a huge learning curve for the first few years of my career, and one of the things that I was learning was that the Hindi film industry was mostly patriarchal: male producers usually calling the shots, and things centered on the male actor. I saw this play out on the set of one of my early movies. I would arrive as scheduled at 9:00 AM every day. My male co-actor, however, wouldn’t arrive until 4:30 in the afternoon, keeping the crew and all the other actors waiting. That was his pattern and it was simply accepted by the director and the producer.”

She then goes on to say how she confronted her mom, Madhu Chopra, and told her it wasn’t fair and that she doesn’t want to do it. The response she got was, “You should be someone whose word is your bond. When you’re finished with the commitments you’ve made and fulfilled the contracts you’ve signed, if you still don’t like the way things are done, then don’t sign any more contracts. 

And when she expressed how she felt to one of her co-actors the response she got changed her perception and led her to focus on her commitment to the process and not anyone else’s. 

Priyanka wrote in the memoir that her co-actor replied saying, “It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting an waiting. Your producer has paid you for your participation. It’s your commitment and your work, even if you play video games in your trailer while you’re waiting. How they use your time is up to them.”

This totally changed Priyanka view towards her how she wanted to perceive waiting on the sets. 

Later, in the same chapter, Priyanka revealed that her parents tried their best to keep her confidence intact as all of them tried to figure out the business of entertainment. She disclosed that before she hired outside management, her father Dr Ashok Chopra had established one “unbreakable rule”. “No nighttime meetings, nothing after sundown” 

Priyanka says in the memoir, “At that time, of course, I didn’t understand it. Whenever I questioned the rule, he’d stand firm: ‘All meetings will be in the daytime, when you’ll be in the presence of either Mom or me”

“Clearly my father was smart to fear the big bad world of entertainment, which his teenage daughter was so naively heading into,” she adds. 

Priyanka also confesses in her memoir that it was because of her father’s protectiveness and the one absolutely “non-negotiable line in the sand”, she was spared from having some of the terrible experiences that so many young people have when they are breaking into the entertainment industry. 

“While I did feel saddened and frustrated by the patriarchy and favouritism of the Bollywood system, I never felt physically threatened during my rise in it, and I attribute that to a combination of luck – bad things can do happen in broad daylight, all the time, with people close by int he next room – and my father’s wisdom,” read an excerpt from Priyanka’s memoir ‘Unfinished’.


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